Olympus E-1 Digital SLR review updated to full production status!|
(Wednesday, March 17, 2004 - 18:19 EST)
From the "It's about time" file, I've *finally* updated my review of the Olympus E-1 based on a full-production camera.
Apologies to all of you who have been emailing to ask me about this one, it just got caught in the pile of backlogged work that built up at the end of last year as we moved the business and ourselves to new quarters. None of my prior conclusions changed in any significant way, but my early hopes about the E-1's image noise levels weren't supported by the production hardware.
Readers will recall my excitement over the E-1's use of a Kodak full frame-transfer CCD, which should have resulted in significantly lower noise than the more common interline-transfer chips used in most cameras. Unfortunately, it turned out that somewhat the opposite was the case, with the E-1's image noise being slightly higher than most of its competition at low ISO settings, and greatly higher at ISOs higher than 800.
Overall though, I remain favorably impressed with the camera, as it offers very high build quality and good performance in a small, light package. - And now that Sigma has announced that they'll be selling lenses for the 4/3 system, the previous issue of E-1 purchasers having no alternative to the (very good but) high-priced Olympus Zuiko lenses has been addressed.
Besides the earlier "gallery" sample images, the updated review now includes a full complement of my standardized test shots as well. Check it out!